Edge Hill University 1st Year Review – Taking a look back

EHU 1st Year Review


Looking back on my first year I have accomplished a lot. I’ve made friends, had experiences and changed my life forever. In most of my blogs I try to follow the simple strategy of writing about things that I would want to have known when I started. So here is the things that I know now about first year that I wish I had known when I moved in. Hopefully they can relate to you and help someone out there.


Image result for ehu accommodationAccommodation: The accommodation on campus is some of the best I have ever seen. It might be annoying that the windows are child locked so it can get hot, but in the winter it’s amazing. Lots of space, underbed storage and a massive wardrobe.

 


Image result for edge hill campusCampus: Lakes, beaches, rolling hills and grassy parks. Campus ends up a lot more like a fancy holiday resort, the peaceful walks give plenty of places to stroll. I wish that I did more of this in the long evenings before winter set in. Don’t swim in the lakes though, £50 fines!


Image result for edge hill staffStaff: The staff at the university always have an open ear for students. In my first year I didn’t find a single member of staff was was unhelpful, intimidating or impatient. I honestly believe that their TEF Gold award is well deserved and the university is always ensuring that its staff is at the forefront of every project on campus, not to the side.


That’s all from me, but if you want to find out more about EHU and first year then check out my first year blog posts here!

And if you want more free and great information email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Opportunities at Uni – Musical Theatre

Throughout the year, students on all years of the Musical Theatre BA at Edge Hill have been  given numerous opportunities to see shows, take part in workshops, and be involved in new projects, all of which give us an edge in our field and allow us to explore other areas of theatre and the arts that we might not have otherwise discovered. Below I will talk about a few of my favourites from the year.

Pippin – The Musical at Hope Mill Theatre

This trip was one of my favourites for many different reasons, and not just because the show was fantastic. The trip took place just four days into term, (the Thursday of Fresher’s Week) and was a great opportunity for out group to bond and get to know each other as we chatted on the bus, and shared opinions of the show. We also got to meet the cast after the show, and even had a workshop day with the lead actor a few weeks after.

The Em Project – October reading Week.

During the time that we were given off timetable as the first sort of ‘half term’ break, the Musical Theatre students were given the chance to be a part of a project- learning, recording and shooting a music video in Liverpool for a brand new musical, called Em- by the amazing Benjamin Till. This was an amazing experience that we could take part in as it meant we could meet and mingle with a professional in our line of work, and get to know people in the other years on our course.  We spent four days learning and perfecting the vocals and choreography for the song. We then recorded our vocals in parts in the Creative Edge building on campus, which was a wonderful experience, but the most fun was definitely the day we spent filming on location in Liverpool, in full 1960’s costume, hair, and makeup.  We started out the day in the infamous Cavern Club, filming the end of the music video, and then travelled around the city to get different shots in different places. All in all, although a very cold a long day, it was a lot of fun and that certainly shows in the video, which premiered last week.

Independence at Edge Hill University – Freedom is more than 4 AM Netflix

Independence At University

Independence At University


Independence at university is something that I know you will be looking forward to in the coming year. Doing what you want when you want is amazing. So being able to have a full tube of Pringles to yourself at five in the morning is well within your grasp but being independent is much further away. Growing up takes guts, and practice. Learning how to live and survive on your very own is a serious of falling flat on your face before you figure out how to ride the bike of life. I can’t help you with that, but I can give you a few tips to help you when you move to Edge Hill in September.


Start small. Lets take it from day 1 when you move in. Get settled and know your way around your room. Start mentally planning how you are going to take care of yourself. Is there anything you need to buy or bring with you? Make a list if it helps. Learn how to do laundry if you don’t already. Start cleaning your room every day. All of these are going to be essential when you live alone. Starting now, today, gives you a jump-start on everyone else around you. And don’t be afraid to mess up.


Your TimeMaking sure your time is managed well is essential to becoming independent. Remember all of those teachers who said “it’s your own time you’re wasting” ? Well they were kinda right. You need to make sure when you tell yourself you are doing something you do it. If your washing day is on Wednesday then do the washing on Wednesday. And again, if you want your Independence, then start today. Using your time well  means you get more done. Getting more done means you don’t rely on others. That makes you independent.


The Cash MoneyThe last piece of advice I can give you is budget. There are many ways you can go about this, and if you find one that works tell me about it please. Money is hard to come by and easier to lose so make sure you spend it well. You need to think about more than the usual costs. Set aside something for the unforeseen circumstance. Starting out this is hard, but getting a part-time job is a great way to help. Make sure you don’t abuse an overdraft. It is not free money no matter what your mate who is 600 pound deep tells you.


These are the three best tips I can give you. It is important that you give it your best every day when you come to university and understand that it gets easier. You might find yourself struggling with money one week and the washing machine the other but we’ve all been there and it gets easier. I can only wish you the best of luck. I’ve linked in a few more blogs below that you might find useful.

Edge Hill Laundrette – Doing your washing is loads of fun

Volunteering and Part-time Jobs


That’s all from me, but if you want to find out more about getting started at Edge Hill you can have a look at their website for information on any aspect of University life here.

And if you want more free and great information email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

It’s Nearly Time for Placement!

As Easter is approaching, it means it’s nearly time to enter the classroom again. As part of my primary education course we have one block of professional practice each year. It goes as follows:

Year 1 – 6 weeks

Year 2 – 8 weeks

Year 3 – 10 weeks

Last year I was placed in a lovely year 1 class at a primary school in Crosby. Although it involved a lot of time and hard work, it was an experience I know I will always remember and benefit from (apart from the tonsillitis I got during the last week…that wasn’t the best way to end it). I have learned a lot from that… take vitamins, drink water and buy some hand sanitizer!

Obviously, only particular courses include placements such as teaching, radiography, nursing etc. So here is some advice for any of you who are entering such a course!

  1. Have early nights

We all have those nights when we’re watching a TV series, then we look at the clock to see it’s 3am. As tempting as this is, waking up a few hours later is almost impossible (well, for me it was). Once you have your paperwork done for that day, relax and try to get some sleep!

  1. Make plans over the weekends

Whether it’s with your friends or your family, it’s always important to have something to look forward to. Remember you’re still at university…

  1. Recognise the support around you

For myself, most days were filled with useful teaching approaches I know I will use when I’m qualified. However, all the planning and assessments could be stressful at times. Fortunately, you have so many people you can go to for support – your personal tutor, visiting tutor and classroom teacher are some examples. I never felt out of my depth because I knew there were people to go to if I had any problems or queries.

  1. Smile

Placement is a very special time which can go very quickly! Grasp every opportunity such as providing extra help for school clubs. Since my course is only 3 years, I am trying to get the most out of these experiences to feel prepared after graduation. So my biggest snippet of advice for professional practice is to enjoy the thing you love to do!!

I hope this is useful, leave me a comment if you have any questions!

Speak soon, Anna 🙂

Sean’s Random Encounters – Edge Hill Applicant Day and the Catalyst building

Seans Random Encounters Text


So, on the way back from a driving lesson I wandered into an Applicant Visit Day that was taking place in the Hub, central to the university campus. Among the many stands that were providing information to students like yourself was Kerry from Student Services hosting a stall with information about the new building that is set to be unveiled on campus later this year.

The catalyst is a new and exciting central building is a £26 million pound investment in all our educations. I spoke to Kerry about what this building would become and how it would be used by the average student who steps inside.


 

This video gives an overview of exactly what this 8000 square meter project will look like. Located just to the central east of the campus it is a stones throw from the hub and much of the main on site accommodation. This is useful, as it houses the brand new library. If you are like me and enjoy late nights you will be able to head over and get that book about vintage computers, photography or just a good read in general.


” Modern, Central and Connected “

– Kerry, Edge Hill University

I asked Kerry if she could describe exactly what the new Catalyst would mean to her. She said it was ‘Modern, Central and Connected’. She went on to mention how it would ‘take the existing student services and unify them together, in one central place.’


So all these buzz words sound good, and we have lots of numbers like 8000 square meters and 26 million pounds, but what exactly is the Catalyst and why should you be excited to be the first year of students to use it?

The Catalyst is the new home for the university library, student services, help desks and most teams who will help you in everyday life. It is going to be a one stop shop for you to discuss anything that you need help with. It is the new central point for everything Edge Hill.

So that’s it, get excited folks because the Catalyst is going to change everything.


If you want to find out more about the new Catalyst building you can find information here, or if you want to find out more about applicant days check out here.

And if you want more free and great advice email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!


 

I’m Making a TV Show! | Film and Television Production

As you can tell by the title this post will be all about the TV show I am currently creating, what I have been up to in regards to the show and some advice sprinkled throughout. The TV program is part of my course, as I am a film and television production student. The brief for the production is that it has to be a ‘magazine show’, e.g this morning, the one show, blue peter, etc. However, your show can be about anything you want it to be! As long as it’s in a magazine show format and is 28 minutes and 40 seconds long.


The TV show is all about animals and is called Animal Earth. The reason I decided to do an animal show is that I just really love animals, so I thought it was a win-win situation as I can make a show while being surrounded by animals. The episode that is being filmed is all about dogs, which includes having dogs in the studio!


I’m the Director of the show, which I am loving so far! I love directing as you can be creative while coming up with the idea of the show, planning the segments in the show, and writing the autocue script. As well as directing, I have been doing other fun things such as creating a website to promote the show.


If you’re interested in the production and want to see what we’re up to as a production, feel free to check out our social media, we are on; FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter, and we have a website. So, now you’re probably wondering what I have been up to in regards to the TV production over the last week, well…


Over the last couple of weeks, my group have had studio training incorporated into our lessons. The studio sessions are always really fun, as everyone gets to work on their area of interest while working together as a team to make the show the best it can possibly be!  
The studio itself is split into two parts: the gallery (including the sound booth), and the floor (the room in which the show is shot). My group of fifteen is spread between the two parts. In the gallery, there is a vision mixer, director, autocue, script supervisor, vt operator, producer, and sound technicians.  And in the studio, there are camera operators, floor manager, runners, and of course the presenters of the show.
As director I sit in the gallery overseeing the project and telling vision mixer and vt operator what I want on the screen while communicating to my floor manager and camera people want I need them to do in the studio to make my vision happen.


Planning Segments which means calling up different companies and organisations. I’d always recommend calling the company by emailing if possible as you’re more likely to get a response there and then if they can partake in your show.   

 


This last couple of weeks has consisted of many group meetings. These group meetings are vital, as every meeting strengthens the project and brings the group closer together. As a group we have also been dabbling with branding, experimenting with different logos and styles!   


Casting has played an important role in the production this week as the project needed a field presenter. If you ever find yourself needing a cast for a project, I’d highly recommend the website ‘Starnow’ as it has a vast amount of actors, who don’t mind doing unpaid work. I have used this website for the last three years for all my projects.


This week I have been writing the vt scripts for our segments. Having a script for whatever you’re filming, even if you can’t plan everything that will happen on the day is vital. For example, if you’re filming in a documentary style, it is still incredibly useful to have a script, to keep a certain structure to your production.


Thanks for reading this post, I hope you found it interesting or informative. Feel free to comment if you want more posts like this or want me to blog about anything in particular. If you want to continue following this TV production, make sure to follow the Animal Earth social media, which is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and we have a website.  
Until next time!

Film/Show of the day: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2018)

Fastrack: My experience (part 1 – applying)

In my last post I talked about Fastrack: Preparation for Higher Education and what it is. Now I’ll talk about my experience of applying for this course.

During the beginning of 2017 I was contemplating a career change and started off by trying to find out what jobs I would like to do and what qualifications would be needed. After deciding I would like to be involved in advertising I set upon looking about for courses and came across Edge Hill Universities BSc (Hons) Marketing with advertising course. Perfect…..well nearly. I hadn’t taken any A-levels or any form of education since leaving school in 2001.

Worried that I may be too old and it could now be another couple of years and cost quite a bit of money to achieve the qualifications necessary to just get on my desired course, I e-mailed Edge Hill to find out just exactly what the entry requirements were.

I received this e-mail in response. Unfortunately I held none of these qualifications. The thought of the Fastrack course really appealed to me though, especially as it meant I would be able to start my actual degree course in September that year, something I really didn’t think possible!

At the beginning of March I completed my Fastrack application form online. Not really sure what to expect, but with doubts over my suitability for the course. I had resigned myself that to getting an e-mail back about not being suitable or maybe being told to ‘try next year’…why would they want someone in their 30’s, with no qualifications, who has been out of school for over a decade on this course?!

During the middle of March this e-mail arrived inviting me to attend an interview and complete a test. I was a bit shocked, in my mind I wasn’t a desirable student and was just waiting to be told this but here I was being invited in for an interview and test…maybe it must be easier for them to tell me face to face I’m not student material.

How wrong could I have been, from the moment I arrived for the interview I felt welcome straight away. Helped by the fact I was joined by around another 10 Fastrack applicants, from all walks of life and from all parts of the country…Manchester, Lake District and London to name a few. This put me at ease straight away, knowing it wasn’t just me here. We had a mini tour of the campus, talked about our hopes and expectations from University as-well as what was expected from ourselves. After a short written test, we were told that we would be told over e-mail if we had been accepted onto the course.

The very next day I was greeted with this e-mail in my inbox. Edge Hill did want someone who was over 30, with no qualifications and that had been out of school for over a decade on their course!

Up until the course starts, the communication from Edge Hill in superb as you are guided through enrolment onto Fastrack and the pre-course web page is a great help for any questions or queries you may have. Now that we’ve applied for and been accepted onto Fastrack, my next post will be on the course itself.

Again, if anyone has anything they would like to know or would like a bit more information then feel free to get in touch.

“What Should I Do on a Campus Tour?”

 

Choosing what university to study at is no easy task. A lot of time and research goes into finding the best one, and once you have narrowed down your choices you have to take a tour around at least one or two of them to get a general idea of what they are like. That’s why today I will be giving you some handy tips on what you can do on a campus tour which will hopefully make your decision process a lot smoother.


First off, don’t be scared to ask questions, the more the better! There are no right or wrong questions to ask, as it’s better to ask then and there, than travel home wishing you had asked about what food is on campus, for example. However, if you’re stuck for questions to ask, here are some ones you might find handy:

  • What is the accommodation like?
  • What are the biggest differences between the most expensive and cheapest accommodation?
  • Are there many local takeaways?
  • What is the nightlife like?
  • What are the best and worst things about this uni?
    And the list goes on really! So no matter what it is, make sure you ask every question you want on the day.

Another good idea is to talk to other applicants in your tour group, this may seem strange, however, they’re just as nervous as you are and talking to someone friendly your own age will really help the both of you from being nervous. It’s also nice as you can both discuss the things you like and dislike about the university, which you may feel awkward doing with your parent/guardian if they’ve driven you miles and miles to get to the uni. And who knows, maybe you might end up living together in halls down the line!


Take notes. This doesn’t have to be with a pencil and pen, just note down anything interesting that you like or dislike about the uni in the note section on your phone, as it might come in handy later if you can’t remember every detail.   


Don’t just focus on your subject building, it’s easy to focus on the building that you will be spending most of your time in and ignore everything else, however, by doing that you’re missing out on everything else that makes up student life, like the shops, gym, food outlets, library, and other campus facilities. So make sure that you are checking out all the other things that the university have to offer! 


While walking around the campus ask yourself ‘would I be happy living/studying here?’ As it’s important to remember that you will be potentially living and studying at this one location for 3+ years of your life, so if you can’t see yourself enjoying yourself at the university, then you might need to rethink your options. 


After you’ve visited the campus, make sure if you have time to walk or drive around the town/city surrounding the campus if you are not familiar with it already. This small decision can make a huge impact on how you feel about the university, as if there are no supermarkets near the university, or you can’t see much transportation options, you might not want to choose that university as after all you will be spending 3+ years of your life at that university, so it needs to feel right for you. 


Finally, when you go home after a long day of looking around the campus, make yourself a cup of tea, relax, and write a pros and cons list of the university you just visited and compare it to other universities you are looking into. By doing this you’re giving yourself a fair chance to be critical of your options, thus letting yourself make the most logical decision for your future.


Thanks for reading this post, I hope you enjoyed it or found it somewhat interesting/useful. If you wanna know more about university life, make sure to check out my other blog posts, I update every Tuesday.
Until next time!

Film/Show of the day: Okja (2017)

Meeting New People at University

I don’t know about you, but before coming to University one of my main worries was ‘making friends.’ Where will I meet new people? What if I don’t fit in? How do I introduce myself? Well…here’s some tips.

Be Yourself

First impressions are important. But if you’re not yourself, what is the point? You’ll only start to feel comfortable around others if they like you for who you are, and not something you’re not. That way, you’ll gradually learn about one another’s common interests which could lead to a close friendship.

Worry Less About Social Media

I was also added to the group chats before coming to university – one for the course and another for the accommodation. It was really useful to get the chance to introduce yourself and ask any questions. However,  I wouldn’t worry too much about talking to everyone over Facebook beforehand, because you’ll have nothing to talk about on your first day! (plus, talking in person is better than over social media – ironic that I’m talking about this over the internet but you get the gist).

Keep Calm and Carry On

Just remember…everybody is in the same boat, so they are just as nervous as you are! For that reason, just take one day at a time and talk to everybody you meet. With time, you’ll realise who you’ll get on really well with.

Grasp All Opportunities

You’ll have the chance to meet new people through many ways; societies, lectures and going out. Grab any opportunity you can, not only to meet new people but for yourself too.

Don’t Judge

Be open-minded and accept everybody for who they are. Listen to others and learn from the people around you.

 

I hope these few tips will help you feel less overwhelmed. Feel free to ask me any questions below! Thanks for reading 🙂

Third Year Film and Television Production: First Semester Summary!

So here I am again, back talking to you about my modules. Today’s post is all about my first semester of my third year in Film and Television Production!

Currently, I’m in my last semester ever on uni which is very weird, but also exciting at the same time! So quite a bit has changed over this last semester, and I’ve learnt so much about university life which I can’t wait to share with you over the next couple of months! Anyway, as I did before in my first and second-year semester posts, I will be going through the modules, giving my opinion on each one, enjoy!
(Disclaimer: modules on this course are always changing so might be different or non-existent by the time you’re reading this blog post.)


Independent Film Production (Compulsory)
Short version: Great module, however, it’s a lot of work!

Independent Film Production enables you to work independently to produce a film of a professional standard. The Independent film genre gives students the experience of working within industry guidelines, producing a digital and HD film within the confines of a limited budget, with a larger production team and within a restricted timescale.”

Behind the scenes.

Long version: As the quote suggests, film production is all about creating a 10 to 15-minute short film. The module is marked in two parts: a production folder with trailer and the film itself. The folder is full of all your paperwork that you have completed while creating the film and includes important pieces of paperwork such as release forms and location scouting. This folder is submitted with a short trailer for your film and is worth 30% of your overall mark, as the film makes up the rest.

The pros of this module are: by the end of the process you have a finished product which you can add to your showreel, you learn a lot of new skills on set, working with new people can be fun and engaging as ideas of how to make the film can be formed over casual conversations, you can be as creative as you want as you’re writing the script, and it’s another chance to explore the technical role you’re most interested in, whether that be editing, writing or directing!  

However, this module does have cons, one of which is that it’s based on group work and some people in your group may not pull their own weight (an issue I found occurring within my own production) and unfortunately there is no way for you to change that as you can’t force people to work when they do not want to. Additionally, I personally did not find the lectures useful for myself, as I would have prefered to be filming instead of sitting through a lecture about making a film. Finally, it can be a bit of a juggling act with other modules as you have to work on all of them at once, and it’s sometimes hard to find the time to do that. Overall though, this module has taught me a lot about teamwork and what roles I enjoy doing in productions. Because of this production, I realised that I really enjoy directing, which I didn’t know beforehand, which has now led to me being the director of my TV show I am currently creating, so overall it worked out!  


Media Futures: (Optional)
Short version: I didn’t really like this module.

Media Futures involves the study of contemporary media practices, the impact of technology on creative industries, developments in global and local media, and changing paradigms of media production and audience consumption. You will develop a critical awareness of a number of key themes including social experience and shaping of media forms, access, participation and engagement, and the relationship between public and private spheres. By considering these themes through a range of different theories and research, you will discover a variety of approaches to gaining understanding of what is a rapidly expanding frontier of creative and cultural practice and media knowledge.

Long version: As I’ve said before on these posts: “Theory isn’t for everyone, and I am the everyone in this situation.” And that has not changed one bit I am sorry to report, theory is still not my cup of tea. I can appreciate that essays are needed to make the degree legitimate, but at the same time I would much rather be doing practical work in all honesty, as I feel that suits my skill set much more. However, one thing that can be said is that the people teaching this module are passionate about what they are saying.

The module is marked with a 3000-word essay, worth 70% and a group debate, worth 30%. The debate was a good exercise in public speaking which is always a good skill to have no matter where you work. It was also a nice change from essays as what was reached could be used later on to defend your point when someone tries to counteract. Overall all though, I just didn’t really connect with this module as I did with the next one.


Cult Cinema (Optional)
Short version: I loved this module!

Cult Cinema introduces you to films that are often marginalised in academic film discourse as a consequence of their modes of production, content or manner of consumption. The module theoretically explores the interrelated concepts of ‘cult’, ‘trash’ and ‘exploitation’ cinema.

Long version: Okay, so you know I said I didn’t like essays, that still stands, but I did enjoy the lesson. The module is marked on two essays: a 1500 word essay and a 2500 word essay.

 Okay so let’s just jump straight into the Pros: If you enjoy learning about film history, especially the weird side of it, this class is for you! Every week we’d sit and watch weird clips from old films and then analyzes them! And honestly, what other lesson lets you openly talk about all the bad movies you’ve watched free of judgment. Additionally, the teacher is amazing, having Andrea Wright as your teacher is so much fun, as she’s not afraid to throw her class into the deep end when it comes to the weird films made in the past. We also got to do movie quizzes where there were prizes and even if you didn’t win a tub of sweets was always being passed around the class. The biggest con, however, is, of course, the essays. And yes, I may have not written the best essays in that class, but I did have a lot of fun!


I hope you learned something from this post or at least found it interesting. There is a lot of other modules that I have not discussed as unfortunately, you can’t study them all, so please feel free to check out the website for the rest of them. Again thanks for reading, it means a lot to me.
Until next time!

Film/Show of the day: The End of the F***ing World (2017)